Hearing adjourned for suspects in Warren tobacco store heist
Published October 2, 2013
WARREN — A hearing for three suspects caught during an alleged burglary at a Warren tobacco shop Sept. 13, including two men who were shot by police as they reportedly tried to flee in a stolen van, has been adjourned until Oct. 31.
Accompanied by their attorneys, Frank Tansil, 30, Jonathan Whitney Fletcher, 48, and Alex Morton, 22, all from Detroit, appeared in the 37th District Court Sept. 26 where they stand charged with breaking and entering, receiving and concealing stolen property, and assaulting a police officer. At the agreement of prosecutors and defense counsel, the hearing before Judge Matthew Sabaugh was adjourned to give attorneys time to review video evidence.
Warren Police Commissioner Jere Green said previously that patrol officers responded to a 911 call and a burglar alarm at the store near Nine Mile Road and Van Dyke at 6:02 a.m. Sept. 13. He said responding officers parked their vehicles around the suspects’ van, which allegedly had been reported stolen in Livonia.
The men allegedly tried to flee in the van as police arrived. Green said an officer was nearly struck when the van rolled over the sidewalk and pinned him between a police car and the wall of the business. Two officers fired shots, striking Tansil and Fletcher, who were seated in the front of the vehicle.
Defense attorney Matthew Kolodziejski said his client, Tansil, suffered two broken arms as a result of gunshot wounds.
Fletcher suffered lesser wounds and was treated at the hospital and released into the custody of the Macomb County Jail, where his defense attorney, Andrea Fanning, told the court he hadn’t been receiving adequate care for pre-existing medical issues, including ulcers.
Kolodziejski, Fanning and Morton’s defense attorney, Gerald Ferry, declined to discuss the specifics of the case before they had a chance to review of the evidence.
Both Ferry and Fanning unsuccessfully petitioned the judge to lower the $50,000 bonds for their clients. The men remained held in the Macomb County Jail.
Tansil also remained jailed on a $250,000 cash bond.
“The people would reject to any reduction in bond,” Assistant Macomb County Prosecuting Attorney Anthony Servitto said. “I think they’re a threat to the general public’s safety.”
Warren Police Detective Sgt. Stephen Mills said previously that investigators recovered several bags containing cartons of cigarettes from the van at the scene.
Police in other communities were reportedly investigating whether the men were responsible for other recent burglaries at tobacco shops.
The next hearing in the case is scheduled for 2 p.m. Oct. 31 in Sabaugh’s courtroom at the 37th District Court.
- 30 DAYS
- Drug court graduates share stories of struggle, hope - Warren
- Volunteers recognized by Community Round Table - Madison Heights
- Red Oaks Connector Trail officially open - Madison Heights
- Load up on information about truck driving - Metro Detroit
- Council chooses former councilman as interim finance director - Harper Woods
- Meet the falcons - Warren
- Art returns to the streets of Mount Clemens - Mount Clemens
- BHS recognized as one of the most challenging high schools in the state - Berkley
- Auto accident critically injures Stevenson student - Sterling Heights
- Stevenson student dies after M-53 accident - Sterling Heights
- Sheriff shares latest developments in fatal Stony Creek crash - Shelby Township
- Three 17-year-olds die in single-vehicle crash at park - Shelby Township
- Madison district plans next phase of consolidated campus - Madison Heights
- Young boy shot in head - Clinton Township